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Colin Winski

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Biography

Oblivious to all passing pop music trends, retro-rockabilly cat Colin Winski proudly carried the torch for vintage rock & roll from the punk era onward. Winski was born in Hollywood in 1957 and raised in Venice, CA, and his early infatuation with Elvis Presley led him to explore the music of Gene Vincent, Roy Orbison, and others. In 1970, Winski became the protégé of Ronny Weiser, himself a rockabilly fanatic who published a magazine named Rollin' Rock; together they sought out Ray Campi, an obscure rockabilly performer known among collectors for singles including "Caterpillar" and "Scrumptuous Baby." Campi agreed to cut a record for Weiser's fledgling label, also called Rollin' Rock, and the session proved so successful that the singer formed a new group dubbed the Rockabilly Rebels, tapping a then-15-year-old Winski to play guitar. (The band's other guitarist was none other than the young Billy Zoom, later to join the legendary L.A. punk band X.)

The Rockabilly Rebels also backed Winski on his debut single, which featured the track "Dig Those Squeaky Shoes"; to achieve the squeaking noises in the song's background, Winski rubbed the sleeves of Gene Vincent's leather jacket, a gift bequeathed to fan Weiser on the singer's deathbed. After making an appearance in the 1977 rockabilly porno movie Teenage Cruisers, Campi and the Rockabilly Rebels recorded the LP Born to Rock, followed in 1979 by Wildcat Shakeout, issued on the Radar label. Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe were to produce the band's third LP, but Campi nixed the offer; at that point Winski and guitarist Jerry Sikorski exited to form their own group, simply called the Rebels, and opened shows for the Clash and Tom Petty. In 1980, Winski issued his full-length solo debut, Rock Therapy; the LP stiffed, however, and he spent the next decade working a variety of jobs ranging from ditch-digger to security guard. Winski finally returned to music in the early '90s, issuing Helldorado in 1993.

Top Albums

Born:

1957 in Hollywood, CA

Genre
Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s

Influencers

Contemporaries